Alerts
September 2019 Visa Bulletin Released
August 20, 2019

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the September 2019 Visa Bulletin. Several Employment-Based preference categories have retrogressed or have become unavailable for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2019. For EB-1 categories, cut-off dates have advanced for persons born in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, the Philippines, Vietnam, ...

Feature
Rob Chestnut | Airbnb’s Global Commitment to Culture, Integrity and Inclusion Part 2
April 19, 2019

Our conversation with Rob Chestnut, Airbnb's general counsel, continues. This week, we talk about Airbnb's global commitment to culture, integrity, and inclusion.

Feature
Immigration Nerds Talk About the Immigration Story, Featuring NPR's Betto Arcos, Part 1
January 25, 2019

In this week's two-part Immigration Nerds podcast, Betto Arcos shares his immigration story—humble beginnings in Veracruz, Mexico, a career in journalism and music that would take him around the world, an enduring work ethic, undying faith in himself, and a little bit of luck—in pursuit of his version ...

Feature
Immigration Nerds Talk About Asylum Law and the Government Shutdown's Affect on Detention Centers
January 18, 2019

In this week's Immigration Nerds podcast, Cair Coalition Litigation Director Claudia Cubas joins us to discuss the court cases that are currently moving the needle in asylum law. At a time when the U.S. is tightening restrictions on the admittance of asylum seekers, Claudia and her team continue ...

Feature
Takeaways from EIG's Conversation with Laura Francis of BloombergLaw
October 25, 2018

Changes to H1B Lottery for 2019 possible, but "may be a bit ambitious" Update: As we get closer to the start of the new H-1B Cap season, EIG has learned more about planned changes to the H-1B Lottery. According to Laura Francis of BloombergLaw, who recently sat ...

EIG Dispatch
Trump Executive Orders Lead to Tightened Immigration Policy
July 31, 2018

USCIS’s increased scrutiny of petitions will not come as news to business immigration professionals. Recently released data provides further verification of evolving adjudicative standards, with figures from USCIS noting that denials and requests for evidence (RFE’s) on H-1B petitions have sharply increased following the implementation of President ...

EIG Dispatch
Switzerland: Geographic Work Authorization Rules and Limitations
July 24, 2018

Swiss labor authorities limit the scope of employment authorization in many circumstances. While some foreign employees in Switzerland are allowed to provide their services to the entire Swiss marketplace, in many instances, employment is limited to the canton that issued their work permit. Cantons (of ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS Memo Empowers Adjudicators to Issue More Denials
July 18, 2018

This past Friday the 13th proved to be a particularly unlucky day for the immigration world as USCIS published a news release informing the public that its Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) was updated to provide officers with more freedom to deny applications without first issuing a Request for ...

EIG Dispatch
An Overview of the Valuable E-1/E-2 Visa
July 3, 2018

The E-1 or E-2 visa can be a valuable tool for foreign-owned businesses that trade primarily with the U.S. (E-1) or have made a substantial investment in the U.S. (E-2). The visa class requires that the business be majority-owned by nationals of a foreign country with a ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS to Revoke Citizenship in Fraudulent Cases
June 19, 2018

USCIS announced plans to create a new office in Los Angeles dedicated to investigating citizenship fraud, with the agency identifying naturalized citizens suspected of obtaining permanent residence and citizenship using false identification. With a team of several dozen attorneys and immigration officers, USCIS will refer ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS and DOJ to Collaborate on Visa Fraud Enforcement 
June 6, 2018

USCIS’s Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) and the Department of Justice’s Immigrant Employee Rights Division (IER) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to facilitate collaboration in detecting and eliminating fraud and abuse of employment-based visa programs. These efforts are in furtherance of ...

EIG Dispatch
ICE Compliance Checks Rise Sharply in 2018
May 22, 2018

In late 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Deputy Director Thomas Homan announced plans for the agency to dramatically increase worksite enforcement at US employers. While Director Homan may have recently announced his retirement,  ICE data corroborates the notion that heightened enforcement is here to ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS Changes Unlawful Presence Rules for F, J, and M Students
May 15, 2018

USCIS issued a new policy effective August 9, 2018 which will radically change the way that violations by F, J, or M students or exchange visitors lead to a three-year, ten-year, or permanent reentry bar. Under the revised rules, students and exchange visitors will face a stricter interpretation of ...

EIG in the News
LAW360 | Expert Analysis: F-1 Visa Holders Changing To H-1B Face New Risks
May 10, 2018

  By Xavier Francis, Erickson Immigration Group Attorney On March 20, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B cap petitions for the fiscal year of 2019. This marks the second consecutive year USCIS suspended premium processing for H-1B cap petitions. ...

EIG Dispatch
Traveling Over the Summer? Here's What You Need to Know
May 8, 2018

With the summer months just around the corner, many of us are planning our summer getaway. We here at EIG would like to ensure that you enjoy your trip and are well prepared for your return to the United States. Below are some frequently asked questions ...

Feature
A Community Spotlight on Sozo Children International
May 1, 2018

Sozo Children International, Inc. (“Sozo”), a non-profit organization incorporated in Birmingham, AL and a recognized NGO in Uganda, is dedicated to saving Ugandan children in need, building communities, and connecting individuals. At its inception five years ago, Sozo fostered 17 orphaned children in Uganda providing them ...

EIG Dispatch
Common US Alternatives for H-1B Cap Applicants
April 24, 2018

With the H-1B Cap Lottery completed, those awaiting selection may be eager to know what US visa alternatives are available to them. Following up on our previous article regarding Alternative Global Destinations, we will now provide an overview of the common US alternatives to H-1B. L-1 ...

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H-1B Cap: What Happens Now?
April 10, 2018

On Friday, April 6, USCIS announced that the annual cap on new H-1B visas had been met. For the sixth year in a row, USCIS received more than 85,000 H-1B petitions within the first five business days of April. The following are some common questions ...

EIG Dispatch
Alternative Global Destinations for H-1B Cap Applicants
April 4, 2018

With H-1B Cap FY2019 applications being filed this week, only 85,000 petitions will be selected for adjudication. If this is an employee’s “last shot” at the H-1B Cap, many companies will consider transferring the employee to an office abroad. Plan in Advance. Although there is generally a ...

EIG Dispatch
Looking to the Future: How Job Changes and Promotions Affect Your PERM Processing
March 27, 2018

Many US visa holders obtain their lawful permanent residence (green cards) through the employer-sponsored PERM/I-140 process. The first step in this process is the labor certification or PERM process, wherein the employer conducts a good-faith test of the US labor market in order to confirm to the ...

EIG Dispatch
Planning for the Future: The Impact of International Travel on Green Card Holders
March 20, 2018

Even after obtaining your green card, maintaining your permanent residence can be more complicated than expected. As a green card holder, traveling outside of the US for longer than six months may prompt the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to question whether you are abandoning ...

EIG Dispatch
EIG Focus: The Importance of Site Visits
March 13, 2018

While the EIG team races towards the pending H-1B Cap deadline, I was fortunate to spend some time sprinting around the San Francisco Bay Area over the past few weeks. While Google Hangouts, Skype, Slack and old-fashioned phone calls enable instant communication worldwide, in the ...

EIG Dispatch
THE H-4 EAD PROGRAM—WHAT’S NEXT?
March 7, 2018

On February 25, 2015, DHS published a final rule extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B workers who are applying for employer-sponsored green cards. The H-4 EAD rule served to incentivize highly skilled workers and further their contributions to the US economy ...

EIG Dispatch
H-1B CAP: When to File as a Change of Status VS. Consular Processing
February 13, 2018

Foreign nationals with H-1B Cap petitions often have questions regarding travel while filing. While the answer may seem straightforward, it depends on the type of H petition filed. There are two options: requesting a change of status or consular processing. Below is a summary that ...

Feature
Government Shutdown Ends; Countdown Begins Again with Immigration Push in the Senate
January 30, 2018

The U.S. government shutdown ended last night with an agreement to fund the government for three weeks, until February 8th. As part of the negotiations to end the shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) agreed to let an immigration bill reach the Senate floor. ...

EIG Dispatch
ICE Announces New Workplace Enforcement Efforts Following Nationwide Raids
January 17, 2018

On January 10, 2018, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials conducted raidsof about 100 7-Eleven convenience stores across the country, arresting 21 people involved in employing undocumented workers. This was the largest raid on a business suspected of employing undocumented immigrants conducted during the Trump ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS Quells Rumors about H-1B Extension Limits
January 10, 2018

USCIS has confirmed that it is no longer considering eliminating the ability of H-1B holders to extend beyond the six-year limit. “The agency is considering a number of policy and regulatory changes to carry out the President’s Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, including a ...

Feature
2017: Lessons Learned from a Year of Changes
December 13, 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, we reflect back on the immigration changes of the past 12 months. Three travel bans, the suspension of premium processing, repeal of DACA, and interviews for all employment-based green card applications, to name just a few. While immigration rules ...

EIG Dispatch
Happy Cap Season: The Road to April Begins Now
December 6, 2017

April 1: The highly anticipated date when US employers may file new H-1B visa petitions with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the hopes of bolstering their workforce with qualified, foreign talent to fulfill a variety of professional positions. Every year, USCIS issues up to 85,000 H-1B visas ...

EIG Dispatch
The DOL Audited our PERM Case. Why? And What Happens Next?
November 29, 2017

Last week, we gave you tips on drafting great EVLs for PERM Based I-140 applications. Today, we address another nerve-wracking part of the Green Card process, PERM audits. Nationally, the Department of Labor (DOL) audits about 1 in 3 PERM applications, most by random selection. An audit does ...